11 Popular Fake Bacon Products, Ranked Worst To Best

Of all the types of meat available in the United States, bacon seems to have the most passionate fanbase. And as plant-based meat alternatives become more popular, brands have found ways to make a delicious version of practically every animal protein, from burgers to hot dogs to chicken nuggets.

However, companies have struggled for years to recreate a decent vegan or vegetarian bacon. Mimicking both the taste and texture of this savory breakfast treat has proven to be tricky. Some products have blown us away with their creativity and flavor while others are best left in the grocery store. We rounded up the most popular fake bacon products and determined which are worth your money. Some are downright awful, some are okay when combined with other ingredients, and a few selections are tasty enough to be enjoyed on their own. Here are popular fake bacon products ranked from worst to best.

11. Quorn Vegetarian Bacon

Quorn is a U.K.-based company that creates plant-based meat alternatives. Founded in 1985, they have become a staple in the vegan and vegetarian community. While Quorn's veggie burgers and meatless nuggets are spectacular, this brand falls short with their vegetarian bacon. Each piece resembles a piece of playdough and maintains the same rubbery texture even after cooking. It's impossible to get these crispy, which will be severely disappointing for people who prefer their bacon with some texture. This fake meat will remain thick and doughy unless you burn it to a crisp.

When you open the package, it unleashes a smoky, artificial, and overall unpleasant aroma. The smell improves slightly after cooking but never hits a point that makes us look forward to eating it. This bacon tastes about the same as it smells: overly smoky and artificial. If you're desperate for a vegan bacon alternative and can't find anything else, this product will do, but we would avoid it when given practically any other option.

10. Yves Veggie Bacon

This vegetarian product comes in strips and a Canadian bacon variety, making it ideal for breakfast sandwiches, pizza, and more. Well, theoretically. In reality, this product is not tasty enough to warrant being put on anything. The appearance is similar to ordinary Canadian bacon but a little more doughy. Fresh out of the package this bacon smells a little funky but not unappetizing. The smell gets better and more bacon-like after cooking.

We highly recommend pan-frying this bacon for the best results. Microwaving it will result in a rubbery, soft piece of fake meat that won't add anything positive to a dish. "You'll want to cook these on a low/medium heat setting as they can and will burn easily," advised one reviewer on Chick Advisor. "It is possible to get them relatively crispy for a more authentic BLT experience. On their own they are not too bad (say as a side for eggs for example) although there is a slight chewiness that is more obvious when eaten this way so in a sandwich is where these really shine."  This product isn't horrible, but it definitely isn't our favorite fake bacon available.

9. Tofurky Smoky Maple Bacon Treehouse Tempeh

This vegan bacon is made with marinated tempeh, a high-protein product made from fermented soybeans. It is popular among the vegan community because it has a mild flavor that can be enhanced with a variety of seasonings and sauces. The flavor of Tofurky's tempeh bacon is pretty good. It's mildly smoky with sweet notes from the maple, although it's not particularly strong.

The texture is where this product lacks. Tempeh has an odd texture that is similar to edamame or very soft peanuts. It definitely doesn't feel meaty, and you won't be convinced you're eating the real thing. Reviewers are mixed on how much they enjoy this product. "They are okay," wrote one customer on Influenster. "Good enough to finish but not to want to purchase again. Definitely not a very 'bacon' flavor and this was my first time trying tempeh so definitely not a bacon texture but they're not bad." 

If you like tempeh, you'll probably enjoy this product. Otherwise, stick to another one on this list.

8. SoyBoy Veggie Bacon

Like Tofurky's product above, this veggie bacon is made primarily from tempeh. The textural issues that come with tempeh are apparent in SoyBoy's offering as well. "Clearly it is not a real substitute. If you think of it as something different and don't compare it to bacon, then it's okay, even if a bit weird," wrote one reviewer on Wegmans. "This tastes great, and while the texture won't fool traditional bacon lovers, it's lovely as it is. Fills your kitchen with a yummy aroma as it cooks," wrote another.

This fake bacon has a leg up on Tofurky's because the flavor is a little bit better. There is more seasoning involved including soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, natural smoke flavor,  and onion powder (via SoyBoy). We recommend pan-frying each slice until crispy on both sides. This will make the texture much more bearable if you're struggling with the mushy soybeans. This product works much better in a tofu scramble or sprinkled on a salad than it does eaten as plain bacon strips.

7. Lightlife Smart Bacon

This bacon leaves the tempeh behind and opts for wheat gluten and soy protein. Overall, it's just okay. The texture isn't great but it's not terrible, and the same goes for the flavor. "I've had much worse 'bacon.' But also much better. These never seem to cook up right, and they don't have the right taste. If they're the only option the store has, they'll do. But don't expect to be 'wowed,'" wrote one customer on Influenster.

These strips get a little added texture when pan-fried, but they'll never crisp up like a real slice of bacon. They're a little on the dry side and aren't very good to eat on their own. These bacon slices also have a pretty strong soy aftertaste that some people might find unappealing. This product works well when added to another dish, like a scramble or sandwich, but it needs a lot of extra flavors to round it out. It can also be chopped up and used as bacon bits on a salad or baked potato.

6. Hooray Foods Plant-Based Bacon

Hooray Foods is a start-up brand that came out with this plant-based bacon in 2020 (via The Spoon). The ingredients list differs from most other fake bacon products, relying on items like coconut oil, rice flour, and beet juice concentrate. This product has a lot of pros. Right out of the package, the bacon looks and smells like the real thing. The coconut oil allows this bacon to get crackly while cooking, once again like the real thing. The highlight of this product is that it actually gets crispy after cooking.

"I've tried every vegetarian bacon and NOTHING comes as close as this does," wrote one happy reviewer on Amazon. "They're crispy without being hard. There was even a sizzle! The liquid smoke was a little overbearing, but definitely added to the experience in a positive way. Smelled like cooking conventional bacon! We've even had it in sandwiches, breakfast, and lunch varieties, and it makes them so much better." 

The only downside to Hooray Foods bacon is that it has a strong coconut aftertaste that may be unappealing to people who don't really enjoy that flavor.

5. Prime Roots Plant-Based Hickory Bacon

This unique product uses a special fermentation technology with a Japanese mushroom called koji. This helps to develop a delicious note of umami that adds a true meaty flavor to the bacon. According to Buzzfeed, "The initial bite tasted salty and did have a slight ham/pork-like flavor to it, which was pleasantly surprising. But I would not say it tasted EXACTLY like bacon. It had a more "earthy" flavor and smell to it — I guess that was the umami from the koji!" 

With the crunch and flavor, this bacon is satisfying enough to enjoy on its own. It can also be used on sandwiches, mixed into a tofu scramble, or crumbled into bacon bits. There's no strange aftertaste, and while some reviewers find the texture to be a little soft in some places, the fact that it crisps up at all is impressive. Overall, this is a solid fake bacon option for anyone looking to eat less meat.

4. Morningstar Farms Veggie Breakfast Bacon

Let's address the elephant in the room right away: This bacon looks pretty weird. The manufacturers attempted to give it the same meat and fat lines as regular bacon, but the artificial look of the whole thing is pretty unappetizing. However, if you can get past how it looks, this fake bacon is a great option for people hoping to cut down their meat consumption.

Although this bacon can be cooked in the microwave, it is best when pan-fried with a little oil. This allows it to get nice and crispy. The flavor is pretty good, although some reviewers think it's a little boring. "The taste isn't unpleasant, but there's nothing that makes it stand out," noted Freezer Meal Frenzy. "That said, we think this 'facon' would be perfect for sandwiches, especially BLTs. The crispy texture and smoky flavor would pair perfectly with some lettuce and tomato." Overall, Morningstar Farms' take on bacon is a decent alternative to the real stuff that is ideally paired with some other flavors.

3. Sweet Earth Benevolent Bacon

Sweet Earth is another brand popular among the plant-based community, and this time their attempt at vegan bacon doesn't disappoint. This product is absolutely packed with flavor and contains plenty of smokiness with notes of hickory, sage, and garlic in every bite. While the texture of this product is nothing like regular bacon, it's not off-putting in any way. It's thick and meaty, making it a good meat alternative, even if it doesn't get crispy.

"Possibly the best vegetarian bacon I have ever tried. It has a slight sweetness to it that makes it even more delicious. I find that cooking it in a skillet with oil with a good heat point is perfect for this bacon. It really is so delicious," wrote one reviewer on Influenster. "Typically, these types of attempts only are able to capture so much in terms of taste and texture. This has a fantastic smokiness to it and when cooked right, has the best crispy texture to it. You can use it in many ways (with breakfast, on its own, on sandwiches or other combinations) but I do recommend trying it on its own to get an idea of its taste first!" wrote another.

You get the idea that vegan and non-vegan eaters alike think this is a solid plant-based bacon option. It's tasty enough to be eaten on its own or great as part of a larger dish.

2. Be Leaf Vegan Bacon

Be Leaf's fake bacon wins the award for the most convincing presentation. It has thick marbling that looks remarkably like raw meat. It smells like real bacon too, especially when it's cooked and the various seasonings and oils are brought out. The taste is meaty and rich, and the texture is pleasant if you enjoy your bacon on the soft side.

"AMAZING! IT TASTES LIKE BACON GREASE SMELLS!" wrote one happy customer on GTFO It's Vegan. "If all you've ever had is grocery store bacon (Lightlife, Tofurky, etc) you've been eating garbage compared to this creation of pure magic! It's delicious! Note that this is not a good 'crispy' bacon. Overcook it by even a second and it gets 'crunchy' like hard. Wonderful for those of us who used to like our breakfast strips 'soft' or 'easy'. Great texture, good color. 10/10 would recommend and buy again." If you're looking for an excellent fake bacon product to eat as a side dish, this is a great find.

1. Upton's Naturals Bacon Seitan

The winner of the great fake bacon debate falls to Upton's Naturals. The taste and texture of this vegan meat alternative are thanks to seitan, a product made with wheat gluten that serves as a blank canvas for a variety of flavors. Seitan has grown in popularity in recent years due to its meaty texture that is remarkably similar to the real stuff.

This vegan bacon is packed with hickory-smoked flavor that doesn't totally resemble pork but is tasty nonetheless. "Upton's lists natural hickory smoke extract as an ingredient, and whatever that means in practice, it shines through with a very clean and organic flavor. Seriously, on a fresh roll with a dash of ketchup, once or twice I half forgot I was eating a faux-meat product at times. Loaded up onto a veggie burger the bacon added richness just like the real deal," raved Shop Smart.

This bacon crisps up a little in the pan but will remain pretty chewy after it's cooked. However, if you can stand your bacon not being perfectly crisp, this is by far the best vegan bacon on the market.